Page last updated at 23:24 GMT, Saturday, 1 November 2008

Trick-or-treat boy killed in US

Generic image of a Halloween pumpkin
Like decorating pumpkins, trick-or-treat is a popular Halloween custom

A man who feared he was being robbed has shot dead a 12-year-old boy out trick-or-treating with his family in South Carolina, police say.

TJ Darrisaw died in hospital on Friday night having been hit several times as he stood with his brothers and father outside a house in Sumter.

His father and one of his brothers were also wounded by gunfire, police said.

Quentin Patrick, 22, has been charged with murder, assault and battery with intent to kill.

Mr Patrick, who said he had been robbed and shot before, fired 29 rounds with an AK-47 assault through his front door, walls and windows when he heard knocking at the door around 2030 (0030 GMT), police said.

"He wasn't going to be robbed again, and he wasn't going to be shot again," Sumter police chief Patty Patterson told the Associated Press news agency.

'Tragic evening'

Returning from a Halloween party, the family had stopped at the house to ask for sweets because they saw a porch light was on, police said.

While his mother waited in a nearby car with a baby, TJ Darrisaw and his two brothers approached the house with their father.

At least two of the boys were wearing Halloween costumes, police said, and they initially thought shots being fired at them were fireworks.

TJ Darrisaw's nine-year-old brother, Ahmadre, and their father, Freddie Grinnell, were later released after receiving hospital treatment.

A neighbour said he had heard a loud noise but had dismissed it as Halloween mischief.

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